Friday, April 10, 2015

There's a hole in the bucket

First, thank you for your comments on my last post. It’s very helpful to me to hear what others have experienced and how they handled it.

Second, I’m still not sure if this is the big ol’ change or not because it could very well be massive stress. Last week, things were up in the air for me in terms of the next job and the uncertainty was definitely intense. Long story short on that, I accepted a full time permanent position and I’m scheduled to start May 4.

In addition to my job situation, we’ve been having some foundation work done on our house. The front half of the house (street side) is about 2 ½ to 3 inches lower than the middle. This is old settling but because we want to replace windows in the basement and the bedrooms, we need to get it fixed. Plus the slope is quite visible in our dining room. We have built in storage the previous owner put in and she accommodated the slope. That’s all fine and good since the shelves are level but when you look at the top, the slope is really obvious.

There are two ways you can fix this kind of settling: you can lift the frame of the house from the inside of the basement, or you can lift the foundation. Obviously lifting the foundation fixes the root of the issue and equally obviously, it’s a more expensive solution because holes have to be drilled through the basement floor and dug outside along the foundation. But we’d found a company based on a recommendation by a friend and their price was pretty reasonable, all things considered.

We think now that they anticipated the job would be pretty simple and that they could squeeze it in between other, bigger jobs. Ha.

As specified in the contract, they were going to dig 18 holes total, eight in the basement and the remaining 10 outside. They started a week ago Wednesday and by Monday morning this week, it was clear this was a very slow process. I don’t know if that’s because the digging went slowly but I do know that they were showing up after 9 AM, taking a good two hours at lunch and leaving by around 4 PM. So Monday morning, Kent mentioned that the project really needed to get moving since he would be out of town all next week. They decided to lift the house with just the internal holes dug—just eight of the 18.

Well nothing happened. I confess, it never occurred to me that maybe the house wouldn’t lift. But the part that just annoyed us both to no end was the sales guy going on and on about how it wouldn’t lift, we should just go with the internal frame lifting (remember, that’s the cheaper solution and doesn’t require holes dug in your basement floor), you might have structural damage (first that ever came up), etc etc etc.

This isn’t our first reconstruction rodeo (yet another thing to thank Boston for) so we’ve made it clear that the job needs to be done as specified in the contract with all 18 holes and lifting both inside and outside the basement. We may still be on the hook for additional work because our front porch may need to be removed so they can get to that part of the foundation. Fair enough, if that’s the case we’ll deal with it.

But yes, more stress.

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